England 28 South Africa 31: Player ratings

Player ratings as Stuart Lancaster's men slump to a narrow defeat at Twickenham

England

15. Mike Brown Showed promise but is not on the international match-winning form which he was last season. 6/10

14. Anthony Watson A mixed starting debut for the Bath player. Struggled under the high ball and did not impose himself overly on the game, but on the other hand did not have great service – for example, when he was free on the wing in the first half but did not get the ball from Dave Attwood. 6

13. Brad Barritt Good in the tackle, but could not really find a way through a strong Springbok defence. 6

12. Kyle Eastmond A perfectly competent performance, but by no means inspirational. Made a good break in the first half but dropped the ball. 6

11. Jonny May Did not get the service he would have liked, as the action was generally waged elsewhere, but did reasonably when he did get it. 6

10. Owen Farrell His goal kicking was reasonable, but otherwise his kicking was not good enough against a team of South Africa’s calibre. Elsewhere, failed to provide inspiration or spark and made a strange decision to run it from five yards out, which, despite him eluding his man to make it to the 22 line, led to a South Africa penalty. 5

9. Danny Care Distribution and decision-making was generally fine, but he was badly punished for an intercepted pass from a ruck in the middle of the park, which Jan Serfontein ran over. 6

1. Joe Marler A strong presence at the breakdown and was not culpable as others for penalties given away. 6

2. Dylan Hartley A sin-binning for a silly stamp marred an otherwise competent performance, including good line-outs. 5

3. David Wilson Got his just rewards for his endeavour, which included a decent take of a high ball among all the physical stuff, by finishing England’s first try. 7

4. Dave Attwood His effort could not be faulted, but was probably too eager, as he was penalised for infringements in the scrum and at the breakdown and elected to go himself for a try when Anthony Watson was free outside him. 5

5. Courtney Lawes Typically bruising hit on JP Pietersen early on, which set the precedent for his display. The Springbok were less than intimidated than most, though, by his physicality. 6

6. Tom Wood Like Lawes, put in some monstrous hits, which typified his effort. 7

7. Chris Robshaw (captain) Some good bits of play, including a chargedown in South Africa’s 22, and his decision-making was not at fault. But he did make at least one fairly simple handling error, similar to the one which ended the game against New Zealand. It’s harsh to note this against him, but individual things can turn things against teams of South Africa’s quality. 6

8. Billy Vunipola His distribution occasionally let him down, such as when he didn’t pass on a two-man overlap in the first half. But he was, as ever, a very physical presence, making some of the biggest inroads into the South African midfield. 6

Replacements

Rob Webber N/A

Matt Mullan N/A

Kieran Brookes N/A

George Kruis N/A

Ben Morgan Part of England’s forward-driven resurgence at the start of the second-half, including the second try, which he scored. 7

Ben Youngs Quickened the pace when he came on. 7

George Ford Good goal-kicking and looked dangerous. Would have wanted longer than 20 minutes to affect the game, and probably deserved it. 7

Marland Yarde N/A

South Africa

15. Willie Le Roux (man of the match) Cleared things up well at the back, brilliant under the high ball and had a huge part in the try – collecting Patrick Lambie’s chipped ball and committing the England defence by only passing to try-scorer Cobus Reinach right at the last moment, with a deft offload. Cleverly avoided being off for ten minutes, or more, after, quite literally, softening the blow of high tackle on Brown by cushioning his fall. 8

14. JP Pietersen Recovered from a huge early hit from Lawes to put in a solid performance, but this was not the type of display of free-flowing rugby to best showcase his talents. 6

13. Jan Serfontein A workmanlike performance, capped off by having the vision to cut off a Danny Care pass and run in for a try from halfway. 7

12. Jean de Villiers Performed well, but made a very odd, and ultimately fruitless, decision to kick for touch instead of the posts take a likely eight-point. He couldn’t account for Lambie missing touch, but even he hadn’t it was a decision which could have costed the Springboks. 6

11. Bryan Habana Not one of his more Hollywood performances, but did the little things well, including electing to let a George Ford kick fly out over his shoulder and – just – out on the full. 6

10. Patrick Lambie Called the shots in much of the game from an open play, including a fine side-footed chip through to Le Roux which led to the second try and sealing the win with a well-taken drop goal. However, he was not faultless with his place kicking – putting one very kick-able penalty well wide and kicking past the corner flag when going for touch on another. 7

9. Cobus Reinach A lively presence, always quick to the breakdown and using the ball well. 7

1. Tendai Mtawarira The Beast did was not allowed to dominate England as he has many other frontlines. 6

2. Adriaan Strauss
Played on the edge of the law, but clever enough to get away with it. Combative is an understatement. 7

3. Jannie du Plessis Has had better days scrummaging, but a reasonably solid day at the office. 6

4.Eben Etzebeth A true enforcer who stopped England playing expansive rugby all day long. 8

5. Victor Matfield A cynical professional foul saw him sin-binned early in the second half, which helped England get back in the game, but he galvanised South Africa when he came back on. 6

6. Marcel Coetzee Strong carrying the ball and defensively. 8

7. Schalk Burger The type of character who actually seems to relish putting his head, and various other parts of his body in direct danger. Spun off a maul and took the third try very well. 8

8. Duane Vermeulen Made good ground when he carried. A fierce competitor. 7

16. Bismarck du Plessis N/A

17. Trevor Nyakane N/A

18. Coenie Oosthuizen N/A

19. Bakkies Botha N/A

20. Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje N/A

Gary Lineker
‘Indisputably’: Gary Lineker raves about Man United star during 3-2 win over Atalanta
Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman: Liverpool FC signing Ousmane Dembele would be 'smart' business
Christian Pulisic
Thomas Tuchel updates Chelsea FC fans on Christian Pulisic
Mohamed Salah
Fabrizio Romano provides fresh update on Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool FC contract situation
Mason Mount
Olivier Giroud praises two Chelsea FC stars who are a ‘different class’
Gary Lineker
‘Indisputably’: Gary Lineker raves about Man United star during 3-2 win over Atalanta
Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman: Liverpool FC signing Ousmane Dembele would be 'smart' business
Christian Pulisic
Thomas Tuchel updates Chelsea FC fans on Christian Pulisic
Mohamed Salah
Fabrizio Romano provides fresh update on Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool FC contract situation
Mason Mount
Olivier Giroud praises two Chelsea FC stars who are a ‘different class’
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature